The New Orleans Saints won their season opener against the Green Bay Packers 38-3, and it was impressive. However, the momentum gained from that victory might not be carried over into Week 2.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Saints have had several offensive coaches test positive for COVID-19. The impacted coaches' status for the team's Week 2 game against the Carolina Panthers could be in jeopardy.
However, one Saints source has insisted the team will be fine, Schefter adds.
Saints have had a “handful of offensive coaches” test positive for COVID, calling into question their status for Sunday’s game vs. Carolina, per source. But as one Saints’ source said, “We’ll be just fine.”— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 14, 2021
According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, five Saints assistant coaches who tested positive for COVID-19 are vaccinated.
All five #Saints assistant coaches who tested positive for COVID-19 are vaccinated, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 14, 2021
The team is in enhanced mitigation protocols, which means daily testing, mandatory masks, etc., for all players and staff, regardless of vaccination status.
Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said in July that the team had a vaccination rate over 90%. However, that still leaves room for a COVID-19 outbreak among the team, with vaccinated people still having the potential to test positive if exposed to the virus.
The NFL announced in a memo earlier this summer that teams who have a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players will be forced to forfeit their postponed games if they cannot be rescheduled within the 18-week schedule. It doesn't appear the Saints will be affected by this mandate.
The Saints have already dealt with plenty of adversity this season. The franchise entered 2021 without longtime quarterback Drew Brees, who retired in March. And, earlier this month, they were forced to evacuate New Orleans because of Hurricane Ida. They had been practicing in Dallas and played their Week 1 game against the Packers in Jacksonville.
The club has handled the adversity well thus far, and hopefully its COVID-19 outbreak doesn't spread.